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I have been woefully absent from blogging for a long time. In the midst of life adjustments I forgot about blogging, but I think I’m back. And I have also moved.

Come check out the new digs here: www.EveryManComplete.com

I was reading Stephen Altrogge’s blog a week or so ago and came across a great post and thought I would pass it along. Read it here.

Today could be the day that you leave this earth. You might not finish this blog post. Francis Chan writes, “On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don’t consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor.” (p.39, Crazy Love)

Photo by cerasaragirl

James writes, “Come no, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:13-14)

Do we live our lives as if we are invincible? Do we say with each day, “I’m in control, I’ll do what I want today”  Frederick Buechner wrote, “Intellectually we all know what we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever.”1

Live today to the fullest, for God’s glory not for your own.

1. Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark (New York: HarperOne, 1985), 72.

My Pastor Frank Emrich preached this past Sunday about starting the year off right with an attitude of thankfulness.

Let me give you a little taste,

Thankfulness does this:

  1. It honors God
  2. Makes prayer effectual
  3. Keeps us from sinning.

Listen to the whole sermon here.

www.EdgewoodBibleChurch.org

This morning at church I was reminded again of how much obedience is required in the Christian life. As our Pastor preached out of Ephesians 5 concerning the Holy Spirit’s promptings and convicting presence in our lives, I was moved that I must not quench Him.

In the same vein, as a parent teaching our children obedience is hard but necessary. It is not always the most enjoyable thing. In the 3-4 year old stage with our daughter we have made an obedience jar

The Obedience Jar

to encourage the need to obey. When we ask her to do something, e.g. hanging up her jacket or putting her toys away and she does it without another prompting, we say she can put something in the obedience jar and she is thrilled to do it. But sometimes she just doesn’t want to do it. She would say she doesn’t feel like it. She chooses to disobey.

I relate that back to our walk with Lord. I have countless opportunities to obey the Spirit’s promptings in a day, but there are times in which I completely disregard Him because I don’t feel like obeying.

I am thankful for the reminder this morning; obedience is not an option… obedience is a command.

My wife and I started a new bible reading plan this past year. Although we weren’t as faithful to it as we would like, it was very challenging and a worthwhile pursuit. It is a system by Professor Horner, a teacher at Masters. Breakdown: you have to read a chapter of the Bible from 10 different books each day, that’s 10 chapters a day. It takes around 40-45 mins to finish each day.

I use Book Darts to mark where I left off instead of paper book markers (these a great book markers and you can get 100 for $10).

I then took the list, which breaks down what to read each day. Example: List 1 Matthew, Mark, Luke & John will take 89 days. List 2 Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy will take 187 days. So, for day one you would read Matthew 1, Genesis 1 and so on.

We have found this system to be one of the best that I have ever used. It’s doesn’t get hard to read, because each day you are in 10 different books of the Bible, different authors, different audiences, different settings. It is great and challenging. I have also found a site, for those that want a more electronic type reading plan, that you can select this plan and 19 others. See You Version for those plans, which can be done online at your computer or on your mobile phone.

Whatever you choose, just choose one and enjoy reading God’s word!

I’ve been thinking about what 2010 will look like for our family and for myself personally. I have developed a list of five things I don’t want to do this year.

I do not want to be filled with pride – God says through James “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

I do not want to be lazyProverbs 10:26 says “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.”

I do not want to forget about prayer – “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” Rom. 12:12

I do not to forget to rejoice in the hard circumstances – “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:10

I do not want to be unthankful – “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Col. 1:12 (Psalm 100:4; Psalm 105:1Psalm 109:30)

We count it a blessing to be apart of a church that preaches the Word every week and yesterday was no exception. Our Pastor preached out of Romans 13 concerning having the right focus as we approach a new year. Living in light of Christ coming back at any moment and that we are closer to Christ’s second Advent every day we have breath.

It caused me to think about what Paul writes to the church in Philippi,

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Phil. 3:20-21)

In John MacArthur’s book Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong, he writes concerning God, Government, and the Gospel. He has some interesting comments about our responsibiity as earth dwellers.

“Our identity, priorities, and mission are not defined by our citizenship on earth, but in heaven, where our Savior awaits (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16), and our fellow countrymen dwell (Heb. 12:23). It is there that our names are recorded (Luke 10:20; Rev. 13:8), and our treasure is stored (Matthew 5:12; 6:20; 1 Peter 1:4). Though we live in this world, we do so as servants and ambassadors of our heavenly King, Jesus Christ.”

Are we identifying ourselves as citizens of this world more than citizens of heaven?

fence1James MacDonald has a good post on building moral fences for men in ministry, or in general.

I can sympathize with most of these fences because I tried to do all of them right from the start of ministry. I got strange looks and people thought I was over doing it. But I appreciate and agree with his statement,

“It has left me deeply persuaded that, “there but for the grace of God, (and some moral fences) go I.”  I know myself too well.  Lengthy, unaccountable hours with manifold temptations available and affordable is a recipe for failure.  Romans 13:14 instructs us that we are to “make no provision for the flesh.”  You think I sound weak?  I am! And when I forget that weakness I cease to know God’s strength.”

“So teach us to number our days,
 That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

How minutes a day do you waste? Whether it is watching television, listening to the radio, reading nonsense, starring at the wall… whatever your pleasure. Today I am keep track of wasted minutes. Sorry, I’m not sharing. I am embarrassed already.

SandsOfTime2

I heard on Sunday of a 16th-century reformer Philip Melanchthon, who kept a record of every wasted moment and then took his list to God in confession at the end of each day. What an example of a man who wanted to redeem the time, because the days are evil. Everyday we have a new opportunity to reject sin and obey God.

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